Windows 95/98

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System Tools

Windows Report Tool

The windows report tool (winrep) is an internet based reporting tool. It allows you to submit new windows problems and the cause of the problem to Microsoft. It contains a interface used for composing reports, HTTP file uploads, and e-mail confirmation for submitted reports. You only need be connected to the internet when your ready to submit the report.

The whole process breaks down into a few easy steps. The tool takes a snapshot of the systems settings and the applications that deal with the problem. Information about the problem is typed by the person submitting it in the areas provided. Winrep has three areas for the documentation of problems. The first is the problem area. The second is the anticipated result. The third area is the steps that were taken that were necessary to solve the problem. Below the three options is an area to choose where the problem accrued in windows. The document is then sent to Microsoft and verification is sent back form Microsoft.

It is important to remember that winrep takes a snapshot of the system. If the problem is fixed before winrep is run the snapshot sent to Microsoft will not reflect the structure of the systems files when the problem was happening.

Here is a list of the files that winrep takes a picture of.

Asd.log detlog.txt RunOnceEx Log.txt

Autoexec.bat Drvspace.ini Setup.old

Bootlog.txt Hwinfo.dat Setuplog.old

Ccp.txt Ios.log Setuplog.txt

Config.sys Msdos.sys System.ini

Dblspace.ini Netlog.txt Verback.log

Detcrash.log Protocol.ini Win.ini


Since the Registry files and Dr. Watson are very large they are not included.

Here are the files that make up these two programs:

Dr.Watson Logs System.1st System.bad

System.dat User.dat

You do have the option of limiting the files that windows will take a snap shot of. To choose these files click on options and then collected information. In here uncheck all of the files you donít want submitted in the report.

User Information

It is suggested by Microsoft that the person submitting the problem include as much information about themselves as possible. This is done by clicking on options and then clicking on user information. Microsoft asks for this information so they can get the report confirmation back to the person who submitted it. Microsoft asks for a minimum of the email address and phone number.

Launching the report

To launch the report, go to start and click on run. In the command line typewinrep and click ok.

Problem description

In this area type as much information about the problem as possible. Donít leave any details out, even if it seems self-evident. Also, include any error messages in their entirety.

Expected Results

In the this area simply describe what you thought Windows was supposed to do. Either give a detail description of what it did in the past or what the programs documentation says should have happened.

Steps to Reproduce the Problem

Give a step by step account of action that can be taken to reproduce the problem. Donít skip any steps. It is a good idea to number the steps to give a complete account.

Choose Problem Area

Below the areas where information is typed is a drop down box. This box is used for choosing the area of windows the problem accrued. Simply click the down arrow and choose the appropriate category.


Click on file and then click save to keep a record of this file. It will be save in the windir\help desk\winrep.

Submit the Report

To submit the report make sure you are connected to the Internet. Click the submit button on the bottom of the page, just below the steps to reproduce the problem. This will take you the MTS web page. Once here verify the information you wrote in the report. If it is all correct hit submit again and Microsoft will receive the information.

Trouble Shooting

If a customer is have trouble sending the report first make sure they are connected to the internet.

If a customer is using proxy settings on a corporate network have them select Use Internet Explorer browser setting before connecting. This is located by going to options then click on user information.

If the report didnít send copies of the system files or the proxy server requires a user ID and Password select the Use Internet Explorer browser settings and resubmit the report.

If the report still has not been sent try checking use alternate data format proxy server. Then resubmit the report.

Points to Remember:

  • The Reporting tool should be in unusual situations where normal troubleshooting techniques fail
  • Make sure the customer is very explicit in typing the problem description, expected results and steps to reproduce a problem. Also make sure they are accurate in the problem area dropdown list box.
  • There should be enough user information entered by the customer for Microsoft to return contact if necessary.
  • If the customer is in a no boot scenario, use the DOSRep utility.
  • Make sure the modem functions from a command prompt. If it does not, the customer can save a report and take it to a machine that has a functioning modem to upload the report there.
  • Have MSN installed for those customers that need to know the local MSN access number.